The O. Wayne Rollins Planetarium opened in 1979 through the philanthropy of Wayne and Grace Rollins. This unique space features a state-of-the-art GOTO Chronos Space Simulator star projector, a device that uses light guide technology to project a realistic and beautiful starry sky. With high-speed, computer-calculated positioning, a simple click of a mouse sets the sky for any time in the past, present or future. Installed at Young Harris in 2002, the projector was the first installation of the Chronos model anywhere in the world. A Sky-Skan Definiti full-dome digital projection system was added more recently. Representing the next generation in planetarium technology, the system creates an immersive and engaging image over the entire dome surface and a powerful experience for the audience.
With comfortable seating for 104 under a 40-foot-diameter dome, Rollins Planetarium offers public shows and educational opportunities for school groups throughout the year. Rollins Planetarium is located in the Maxwell Center on the campus of Young Harris College.
The Young Harris College Observatory features a Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and is located about 1.5 miles from campus at Brasstown Valley Resort.
Located at an elevation of more than 2,000 feet on the flanks of Brasstown Bald, the tallest peak in Georgia, the College's observatory features a Schmidt Cassegrain telescope housed in a 15-foot dome just a few minutes from campus. The observatory benefits from its high elevation and access to the wonderfully dark skies of northern Georgia. In addition to the main scope, the facility also contains outdoor telescope piers that can mount a number of other telescopes as well.
The telescope can also be equipped with a CCD camera to take digital images. Below are two examples of pictures shot from the observatory using the main telescope coupled with a CCD camera. The first picture is M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy; the second one is the Moon.